The juggernaut that social media platforms have grown to be in recent years is something that cannot be ignored. Many business enterprises can be heard referring to new initiatives intended to use social media in a strategic, beneficial way, while others are still uncertain as to how they can make social media work well for their needs. Though the ever-changing world of social media may make some companies hesitant about taking the leap, it is important that they realize that their customers and employee base has likely already done so. The information below presents some useful recent findings on just how widespread business use of social media has truly become. Social Media Use Already Widespread
A key statistic relating to corporate use of social media is the fact that upwards of 70% of all companies are already utilizing social media in one form or another. Public/private firms have adopted social media at a rate of 77%, while 68% of risk services providers report using social media. Thus, nearly two-thirds of companies have already become part of the trend.
Popularity of Facebook and LinkedIn Is Widespread
Facebook and LinkedIn represent the most popular social media platforms in the eyes of corporate users. YouTube and Twitter have also gained favor, though they still enjoy only half the popularity of the aforementioned sites.
Social Media Practices Becoming More Formalized
Fully 71% of firms in the study reported that they currently have a formal policy pertaining to social media or are presently developing one. Broken down by sector, 61% of public/private companies fall into this category, along with 40% of brokers and 40% of risk services entities.
Customer Communication Dominates Social Media Usage
While various business sectors find different uses for social media, the industries surveyed in this study revealed that they primarily use social media as an effective means of communicating and building relationships with customers. They also use social media to expand their customer base, increase awareness and advertise products. Few companies reported heavy reliance on social media as a means to perform research on customers and market segments.
Web Traffic Increases Seen As Greatest Social Media Benefit
Growth in web traffic resulting from the use of social media is a phenomenon reported by a majority of surveyed firms. Integrated social media strategies have also yielded growth in lead generation, better market and consumer insight and decreased marketing costs.
Social Media Keeps Companies' Fingers on the Pulse of Customers
Just about every insurer surveyed reported using social media platforms as an effective way to gauge their own reputation. Social media also proved useful for measuring dissatisfaction among customers, monitoring product or service shortcomings, assessing employee dissatisfaction and keeping tabs on unauthorized distribution of proprietary data or material.
There can be little doubt that social media platforms can be incredibly effective when skillfully used. They can facilitate productive communication with prospective employees, sales leads and existing customers alike. Increasing numbers of companies are discovering the benefits of social media in terms of assessing customer sentiment and satisfaction.
The best way for companies to make good use of social media platforms is to precisely articulate corporate goals as they pertain to social media and then formulate a strategy to reach them. Once objectives have been set, it will be necessary to educate staff at all levels so that they can adeptly utilize social media and maximize the communication outcomes.